Over 2,500 rock for public services in Kingston

    KINGSTON, ON, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 2,500 people defied ominous
clouds last night to party with rock band April Wine at a free concert
presented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. Called
'Rock for Public Services,' the event was one of a series of community
concerts that CUPE Ontario has held in cities across the province to celebrate
and bring home the importance of public services.
    "This is our way of thanking people and some City Councilors in Kingston
for their ongoing support and dedication to preserving public services that
are the bedrock of strong communities," said Michael Hurley, First
Vice-President of CUPE Ontario and President of the Ontario Council of
Hospital Unions. The evening also featured rock and roll outlaw, Sab, as the
opening act.
    According to CUPE Ontario, the provincial government and many local
municipalities mistakenly believe that contracting out and privatizing
services is going to save them money. But in the long run, privatization is a
rip-off, Hurley said. It costs taxpayers more and delivers less.
    "When work is contracted out to the lowest bidder, this hurts your
community," said Hurley to a big round of applause. "People cannot afford to
live on $10 to $12 an hour. All too often, this consigns people to a life of
working poverty, and we will not accept this."
    Hurley also warned concert-goers about the situation at Kingston General
Hospital, where nutrition services are facing the risk of being contracted out
behind a Liberal government smokescreen. The McGuinty government has fired
KGH's CEO and has placed the hospital under its direct supervision because of
its opposition to chronic provincial underfunding.
    "We must make our voices loud and clear and fight off any reduction of
services at Kingston General," Hurley said.
    The Kingston concert was a huge success both for the community and for
CUPE's fight to preserve public services, said Hurley.
    "Rock for Public Services is a great opportunity to inform people about
the value of quality public services while we rock it right wide and have a
good time," said Hurley. "Nothing wrong with that."
    Future Rock for Public Services concerts are being planned for later this

For further information:

For further information: Michael Hurley, First Vice-President, CUPE
Ontario, (416) 884-0770; David Robbins, CUPE Communications, (613) 878-1431

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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